Friday, January 18, 2013


Before I'm a full month behind on this post, I wanted to reflect on last year.  Clearly better punctuality should be one of my resolutions.  But, I digress... now, please enjoy reading about our big moments from 2012:

  • We welcomed Patrick home in January after 6 months in Afghanistan.  He got to meet Gunnar for the first time when little man was 4 months old.  Big day for all of us. 
  • We witnessed lots of Gunnar's firsts together, like first solid foods, first words, first steps, and first trip to the ER.
  • At work, Patrick took over as a Company Commander, and was instrumental in the development of the battalion's new radio recon capabilities.  (He thought 'instrumental' was too strong of a word... but hey, I'm one proud wife.  And if he's not 'instrumental' then what are all the late hours for?!)
  • Patrick also graduated from jump school after completing 3 weeks of grueling training, and 5 jumps in 2 days.  He has since done several more jumps and is well on his way to receiving his gold wings.
  • Gunnar had his first birthday!  We had a little man party, complete with mustaches all around.  
  • We bought a new truck, black beauty.  We can now drive the whole family in either car.  Big things.  Now if we could just sell the old one...
  • We also found my mom's German family.  She was adopted as a baby, and we never knew anything about her birth family.  This summer she went to Germany and found them!  We are so lucky that they are all such wonderful people.  We've already had them come visit us, and we look forward to visiting them in the near future!
  • Jack and Winston turned 5 and 4, respectively.  They continue to be the best dogs ever, and are so good with Gunnar climbing all over them, and chasing them all day.  We are eternally grateful for their never-ending, unconditional love.
  • I kept everyone alive at home, and managed to make a few beds, vacuum almost enough to keep the dog hair at bay, and had some time left over for some dishes and laundry.  Oh, and I cooked a lot of terribly boring and bland dinners.
  • We got to spend lots of time visiting with family and friends in NC, SC, MD, and VA... although it is never enough!
  • And one of the biggest things that happened this year:  we renewed a lease!  Pretty unbelievable that this is the first time we've ever done that.  As of the 2nd, it was officially the longest we've lived anywhere.  Three hundred and sixty-six days.  Pretty amazing.  While we are currently awaiting word of new orders any day now, hopefully we will have an even longer tenure in one house wherever we end up.
All in all, 2012 was a pretty great year and we are looking forward to an even better 2013.  Happy New Year y'all!  Only a few weeks late...

And this time last year we were here:

sweet 16

So I know I said I was going to post about Gunnar quarterly, but this month he just picked up on SO many new things.  He has learned how to say "more" and "milk" in sign language.  He waves totally on command, without anyone showing him how.  He has started calling Patrick "Dadoo".  He is honing his climbing skills by scaling the baby gate on a daily basis, and now his high chair as well.

He gives "love" and kisses.  When you ask for love he leans in so you can kiss his forehead.  When you ask for a kiss he comes at you with his slobbery mouth wide open and plants a big one on your lips.  Ah-dorable.  He knows how to talk on the phone (well he knows that a phone goes up to your ear), and he knows that a remote works the TV and he thinks its hysterical to change the channel/volume/power.  He learned to sit a big boy table with big boy chairs.

He loves puzzles, and actually understands the concept.  He has a new found fascination with helicopters.  He colors for real now (instead of stabbing the paper with the crayon he will scribble), and loves it.  He got his first pair of cowboy boots, and loves them.  When he isn't wearing them he carries them around.

And he still isn't sure of the beach... which is where we headed to get some pictures of him.  Funny story, I was so worried about having an appropriate bag to carry the camera to the beach in to keep it sand free, and I totally forgot my memory card.  I started snapping GREAT photos and I went to look back at them and sadly discovered they hadn't been saved.  We trekked home to get the card and made our way back so I could get good beach photos, but by then Gunnar was in a bad mood so he's fussy in most of them, and the lighting is all off, but oh well!

chasing a bird...
and the waves got too close.

tasting a sand dollar...
muscles anyone?

Happy 16 months my little boy.  Now please stop growing.  I dread the next "16" we will celebrate... driver's license, eek!  I'm sure it will be here before I know it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

family membership

Our family membership to the aquarium has gotten plenty of use this year.  Now, with the new camera, our trips have a whole new meaning, and I will probably wear the card out wanting to snap photos of the otters and newts and turtles and nature walks and such... Who knows, maybe we'll have a little marine biologist on our hands!


My parents were kind enough to gift us with a Canon Rebel this Christmas!  We are so excited to start taking awesome photos with it.  Here are some examples of me attempting to learn how to use it properly.  Hopefully I learn quickly!  Now get ready for photo overload:

sc christmas

We spent Christmas in SC with Patrick's family.  It was the first one I ever spent NOT with my family, which was hard for me to get over.  But we had a very nice visit with the in-laws!  It was fun to see Gunnar and his 1-month-older cousin, David, together.  David has a big sister, Mackenzie, so he is used to sharing.  But Gunnar, being the only child that he is, has no grasp on the concept.  He was frequently caught stealing things (sippy cups, food, toys) from David and just walking away.  Poor David!  Once David stood up for himself, and took his cup back from Gunnar.  Gunnar's reaction was to bop him on the head.  Oh my, we have work to do with our bully!

Here are some photos from our Christmas morning:

By the way, that scooter bike Gunnar is enjoying so much is David's.

We had a great time over both of our Christmases and can't wait to see everyone again!